Google has reneged on its deal to hold the 2024 Google Cloud Next conference at Moscone Center, instead moving the event to Las Vegas, but SF did just score a big AI conference from ChatGPT producer OpenAI.
The San Francisco tourism and convention industry took a punch in the gut in July when the Red Hat Summit and Facebook/Meta's Business Group Summit both pulled out of San Francisco for their 2024 events. And Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff recently threatened to pull the granddaddy of them all, Dreamforce, out of San Francisco next year if street conditions were not to his liking. (Dreamforce 2023 is still starting next week at the Moscone Center.)
But more bad news for downtown hotels and restaurants came this week, as the Chronicle reports that Google has moved the 2024 Google Cloud Next conference out of Moscone Center. This particularly stings, because Google parent company Alphabet had already booked the Moscone Center for that 2024 conference, and has instead booked the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for the event. Google Cloud Next had been in San Francisco for the pre-pandemic years of 2017, 2018 and 2019, and did return here in 2023.
The back-out apparently happened a couple months ago. “In early July, Google canceled its Moscone Center booking for the Google Cloud Next ’24 summit,” SF Travel spokesperson Lori Lincoln said in a statement to the Chronicle. “San Francisco Travel notified stakeholders and the hotel community at that time. The Google Cloud NEXT ’24 had been scheduled to be held at Moscone Center in February of next year.”
But on the flip side, San Francisco gained a highly anticipated AI conference on Wednesday. The current leading AI startup, ChatGPT creator OpenAI, announced they’re holding their first-ever developer conference in San Francisco OpenAI DevDay, on November 6, 2023 in San Francisco, according to TechCrunch.
“The one-day event will bring hundreds of developers from around the world together with the team at OpenAI to preview new tools and exchange ideas,” OpenAI said in their announcement. “In-person attendees will also be able to join breakout sessions led by members of OpenAI’s technical staff.”
As they noted, it’s only a one-day event. So it’s not the same financial tourism boost that the three-day Google Cloud Next event would have brought. But AI is currently a much brighter, shinier new object than Google Cloud services, so there’s likely to be more media attention to OpenAI’s first developer conference. And it’s a good bet that company’s tech-press darling CEO Sam Altman will deliver the keynote.
Though it’s unclear if OpenAI DevDay will be held at the Moscone Center. The company’s announcement thus far simply say the event will be “in San Francisco.” OpenAI says that “Registration to attend in person in San Francisco will open in a few weeks,” so the location may not be revealed until then.